The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Don Ogle 

Best in the World

Local sharpshooters right on target


Courtesy Photo

DewAnn Smith, shown in a previous competition, shooting in the Matthew Quigley shoot in Montana. Early in her shooting career, Smith raised eyebrows when she hit the range, often shooting barefoot or with just sandals on her feet. No one is laughing any more as Smith has shown herself to consistently be at the top of her division.

FORSYTHE, Mont. - Sidney area shooters hit the mark, and often, at a competitive match in mid-June, bringing home first place recognition in three events and second in two others.

And this isn't your ordinary trap shoot. The prizes were earned amongst 647 entries in the Matthew Quigley Buffalo Rifle Match. What sets the shoot apart are mainly two things: type of weaponry (using black powder or smokeless ammunition, rather than modern center fire) with cast bullets, and the sheer distances involved, ranging from 350 to 805 yards (a half mile).

For 26 years the shoot has been held, inspired by the 1990 movie "Quigley Down Under."

The western, featuring Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley, an American frontiersmen and sharpshooter from Wyoming who travels to Australia in the mid-19th Century to accept a job from a wealthy rancher to use his skills in the outback. Quigley accepts the job in the rugged and uncivilized Australian countryside, advertised to find the world's best long range shooters to shoot dingoes.

When Quigley makes it to the ranch and is asked if he truly meets the requirements of being one of the world's finest shooters, Quigley demonstrates his prowess by shooting a bucket placed a quarter mile down the road above the ranch.

Quigley later finds out the Australian ranchers wants him not to hunt dingoes, but wipe out the Aborigine population. Taken aback by making him part of attempted genocide, Quigley grabs the rancher and hurls him through a window. In response the rancher, who controls the region, sets out to hunt Quigley down.

Throughout the movie, Quigley make a number of impressive long range shots with his Sharps rifle in the name of right and justice.

Thus inspired, shooters from across the country now travel to Forsythe annually to make and renew friendships, and test their skills with old-style weapons. Since its inception the event, like the search advertised in the movie, has drawn shooters from around the globe. This year, shooters from New Zealand, Australia, England and Canada made the trip. Throughout the years competitors from eight foreign nations have made the journey.

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Reader Comments

rhavens1954 writes:

Team Smith Rocks the Quigley !!!


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